Verizon’s Visible Customers: Missing calls, texts, and data after ‘upgrades’

Verizon’s budget-focused carrier Visible revealed some sweeping changes, introducing new plans that utilize a completely different network infrastructure.

In addition, the carrier told customers that if they chose to upgrade, they’d get better roaming coverage, latency, and extra features if they jumped for the $ 45-a-month Visible Plus project.

Reviews between those who have successfully upgraded or signed up seem primarily positive — most report better speeds and significantly improved latency. But for many other clients, the switch has been fraught with service and customer support matters.

One of the most frequent complaints on the Visible subreddit is a lack of service after upgrading. A few say they didn’t have any benefit after signing up. More common, though, are statements of semi-working service. Several users report that they can text and make calls but can’t manipulate data; others report having data but no calls or texts. Even a startling number of people say they can mail texts, make calls, and use data, but they aren’t accepting incoming calls.

Some people haven’t been able to bring to the point where they’d know if they were having service matters, as they’ve driven into problems trying to get their phones activated after popping in the latest SIM card the plan needs. One individual said their phone still forgot to start even after Visible support said the issue was fixed.

That conveys another common criticism: several people say they’ve had to spend hours talking to or staying on Visible support staff, sometimes to no avail. While just as many people say they gained a good support experience, Visible’s struggled with consistent communication during the launch. For example, the day the new plans were revealed, someone posted a note from customer support that offered Visible was planning to force everyone onto the new projects commencing on January 1st, 2023.

Other commenters said they’d been advised the same thing. However, Visible renounced that as the case, saying it intends to let people wait on the legacy Visible Unlimited plan for as prolonged as the underlying infrastructure remains available.

It may be where Visible’s role as Verizon’s budget carrier comes into act. Unlike the mainline carrier’s clients, Visible users can’t enter a store and hand a tech their phone. Instead, the visible’s aid site says you may be able to articulate to someone on the phone, but only after you get out via chat. Of course, not having physical locations is relatively common for budget carriers (renting retail space is expensive, after all). Still, the upshot is that people have been staying for hours or even days for service that would only accept a minute or two in person.

In some ways, it’s easy to detect how this mess happened. Verizon isn’t simply adjusting the pricing structure of its plans and calling it a day. Instead, the new techniques use a thoroughly different “core network routing experience,” as Visible’s announcement post set it. The old Visible Unlimited strategy used what has come to be understood as the cloud core, which routed traffic through various virtualized services, according to Light Reading. The latest plans, however, are part of what Visible calls its network evolution, which transforms “how and where” users connect. The change appears to make Visible’s network much like Verizon’s, providing users access to roaming, premium data, and lower latency.

While solid technological details are sparse, it’s clear that Visible is making some meaningful changes here — you require a new SIM to switch and that not each device that worked on the old plan will operate on the new drives that point home. And significant changes usually come with glitches for early adopters, especially with things as complex as cell networks. But hopefully, Visible gets things calculated soon or at least enhances its support for those who drive into issues.

Verizon is an American operator providing a wireless network that previously operated as a respective unit of Verizon Communications under Verizon Wireless. In a 2019 reorganization, Verizon pushed the wireless products and services into Verizon Consumer and Verizon Business divisions and quit using the Verizon Wireless name. Verizon is the most extensive wireless carrier in the United States, with 142.8M subscribers at the end of Q4 2021.

The company is stationed in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. It was established in 2000 as a joint venture of American telecommunications firm Bell Atlantic, which would soon evolve into Verizon Communications and British multinational telecommunications enterprise Vodafone. Verizon Communications became the sole proprietor in 2014 after buying Vodafone’s 45-percent stake in the company.

It works as a national 4G LTE network covering nearly 99 percent of the U.S. population. Won or tied for top accolades has each type of the RootMetrics RootScore Reports in the second half of 2020. Verizon Wireless provides mobile phone services through a variety of devices. For example, Its LTE in Rural America Program, with 21 rural wireless carriers experiencing, covers 2.7 M conceivable users in 169 rural counties. In addition, Verizon Wireless announced in 2015 that it was developing a 5G, or fifth-generation, network.

 American phone enterprise Bell Atlantic and British-based Vodafone Airtouch PLC suggested they would complete a new wireless phone service joint venture treasured at $70 billion. The joint venture was being designed as Bell Atlantic underwent a merger with GTE Corporation. In April 2000, the companies announced that the Bell Atlantic–GTE merger would take the name Verizon and that the Bell Atlantic–Vodafone wireless unit would be called Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Communications owned 55 percent of Verizon Wireless, while Vodafone retained 45 percent ownership. Regulators with the Federal Communications Commission authorized the Bell Atlantic–GTE merger on June 16, 2000, creating the largest wireless company in the United States. Verizon Wireless held this market position until Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless Services in 2004.

Majority owner Verizon Communications became the sole owner of its wireless business in 2014 when it bought Vodafone’s 45 percent stake. Vodafone received $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in stock, and $11 billion in other considerations. An article in The New York Times estimated Verizon Wireless’ valuation at about $290 billion.

In late 2014, it became known that Verizon Wireless uses deep packet inspection for server-side insertion of a customer-unique I.D. field into all unencrypted HTTP headers. The mechanism has been referred to as a “supercookie” or “perma-cookie.” However, it is technically not a cookie in that it does not hold information on the customer’s device and is transparent to the user.

In August 2016, Verizon hired Ronan Dunne, the former head of British provider O2, as the new president of its wireless business. In addition, in September 2016, Comcast confirmed that it planned to launch a mobile service using Verizon’s network as an MVNO in mid-2017.

In February 2017, in the wake of competition from Sprint and T-Mobile and initiatives to expand the capacity and improve the quality of its network by using macrocells and supporting carrier aggregation, Verizon announced that it would bring back an “unlimited” data plan. In addition, Verizon’s decision not to restrict the bitrate of video services prompted Sprint and T-Mobile to remove similar restrictions from their goals.

Verizon Family Locator is a subscription-based service and app that can track family members’ locations on a map for up to 10 devices. In addition, Verizon Family Base allows parents to restrict when and how their children use their phones, view their children’s contacts, and lock the devices. It also offers the GizmoPal, a wristband-worn phone for children restricted to only placing or receiving calls from one of two designated caregivers, and GPS tracking.

Other Verizon Wireless apps include Field Force Manager, which allows employers to manage employees with GPS, management timesheets, and oversees travel, Visual Voice Mail, and Roadside Assistance.